White collar crimes can have far-reaching consequences for people, businesses, and entire industries.
When facing white collar crime allegations from the federal government, you need experienced professionals to defend you.
Shealey Law Firm has a team of federal white collar criminal defense attorneys in South Carolina with the knowledge and experience required to provide strong, skilled advocacy. Contact our federal criminal defense lawyers in Columbia to discuss your case right away.
The Types of Federally Prosecuted White Collar Crimes
These crimes can span a wide range of industries and activities. Minor infractions could be handled at the local level, but other types typically result in more serious charges and require the counsel of a federal white collar criminal defense attorney:
- Fraud: This encompasses various forms of deception for financial gain. Fraudulent activities may involve taxes, banking, wire transfers, bankruptcy, insurance, healthcare, and securities.
- Embezzlement: This is the misappropriation or theft of resources entrusted to an individual or organization. Embezzlement can occur in various settings, such as within businesses, government agencies, or non-profit organizations.
- Counterfeiting: This involves producing and distributing counterfeit money, goods, or documents. Counterfeiting can lead to significant losses for businesses, consumers, and the economy as a whole.
- Money laundering: Persons may sometimes try to “clean” the illegal origins of money by using complex financial transactions. These activities may include legal, cash-heavy businesses, such as car washes and laundromats.
- Racketeering: This refers to engaging in a pattern of illegal activities as part of an organized criminal enterprise. Racketeering often involves extortion, loan sharking, and illegal gambling.
- Trade secret theft: This consists of the theft or unauthorized disclosure of a company’s confidential trade secrets. Trade secret theft can result in significant financial losses for businesses and undermine their competitive advantage in the marketplace.
How a Federal White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney Protects Your Interests
Each case is different and how we handle them requires an individualized strategy. There are some tasks that apply to most of these cases. Here’s how we can help.
Challenging the evidence and legal procedures
A criminal defense attorney can scrutinize the evidence presented by the prosecution. We ensure they gathered and preserved it according to legal requirements. We may also challenge the admissibility of specific evidence. For example, we may question the validity of search warrants, the legality of wiretaps, or the accuracy of financial records.
Identifying and presenting exculpatory evidence
Our federal white collar criminal defense attorneys may also conduct an independent investigation to uncover evidence. This evidence may demonstrate your innocence or mitigate the charges. Evidence could include testimony from witnesses who can provide an alibi or financial records contradicting the allegations.
Negotiating plea agreements
Sometimes, an attorney may advise you to negotiate a plea agreement or secure a more lenient sentence. Our experienced attorneys know federal sentencing guidelines and can use that knowledge to negotiate. Plea negotiations are generally treated as a last resort.
Preparing a strong defense strategy for trial
When a case goes to trial, a federal white collar criminal defense attorney must develop a comprehensive and persuasive strategy. This can involve presenting alternative theories and showcasing the defendant’s character and accomplishments to create sympathy with the jury. A well-prepared defense strategy can increase the likelihood of obtaining a not guilty verdict.
How Law Enforcement Investigates White Collar Crimes
Federal, state, and local law enforcement agents may work together to investigate white collar crimes. They often hire professionals, such as forensics specialists, as part of the investigation. Here are some of the actions they may take:
- Financial analysis: Investigators may review financial records, bank statements, transaction histories, and other documents to identify patterns of suspicious activity or to trace the flow of illicit funds.
- Surveillance and undercover operations: Law enforcement officers may monitor suspects’ actions, intercept communications, or conduct covert operations to gather evidence of criminal activity.
- Search warrants and subpoenas: Investigators may obtain court orders to search premises, seize evidence, or compel witnesses to provide testimony or documents. Your federal white collar criminal defense attorney may wish to confirm these requests are legitimate and do not violate your civil rights.
- Collaboration with regulatory agencies: Law enforcement often works closely with regulatory agencies. Examples include the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service. They may also lend resources to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.
What To Do When Under Investigation for White Collar Crimes
If you are under investigation, remember that every case is different. Only an experienced attorney can tell you how to protect your interests. Here are some general recommendations to follow:
- Consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. Choose an attorney with experience managing white collar cases. Even if it is a minor infraction, court-appointed attorneys might not have the same resources to defend your innocence.
- Preserve evidence. Gather and retain any documents, records, or other evidence that may be relevant to your defense.
- Remain silent. Only discuss the investigation with your attorney. Anything you say could end up in a courtroom.
- Be cautious with electronic communications. Law enforcement can easily obtain emails, text messages, and other electronic communications. These could become evidence in a criminal case.
- Cooperate with your attorney. Provide your lawyer with all relevant information and follow advice given to protect your interests throughout the investigation and legal proceedings.
Civil vs. Criminal Penalties for White Collar Crimes
Civil penalties may include fines, restitution, and other financial sanctions, while criminal penalties can involve imprisonment, probation, and additional fines. A federal white collar criminal defense attorney may argue for clemency.
The severity of the penalties depends on the nature of the crime, the sum involved, and whether the defendant has an existing record.
Why Choose Shealey Law Firm for Your Federal White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re in need of an experienced federal white collar criminal defense attorney, Shealey Law Firm understands the importance of your reputation and record. We work hard to ensure our clients remain upstanding members of their communities. Contact our team of South Carolina federal criminal defense attorneys to discuss your options when facing a white collar crime.